The Chengdu Chronicles: Part 2

Part 2: 香港 / Hong Kong

I’m convinced that I may have superpowers somewhere in the realm of being able to seek out the best food possible, anytime, anyplace. My beautiful fifteen minutes in Hong Kong proved that. I had been hoping to get at least an hour, maybe two, in to explore what is notoriously one of the coolest cities on this planet, but unfortunately things took so long at the border that I literally had about fifteen minutes before I had to leave for the airport.

The following restaurants are what I managed to find in fifteen minutes: Pret a Manger, Mrs. Field’s cookies, and a place that sells burrito bowls.

Now to understand how important this last one is, you have to understand the sad state of burrito bowls in China. It’s not just seeking out the actual full bowl that would be difficult, but it’s the fact that almost every individual component of a burrito bowl—beans, salsa, sour cream, grated cheese—is in short supply here on the mainland, and would possibly involve trips to several different international grocery stores and shelling out a good chunk of change. Spending time, effort, and money all at the same time is something I try to avoid, so I’ve been forcing my growing burrito bowl cravings to the back of my mind for weeks now.

I probably looked like an actual savage based on how quickly I wolfed that thing down. At the time I avoided spending $18 HKD just to add guacamole, but now I look back and think it may have been a mistake. However, it was really the sour cream that got me hard. Try depriving yourself of sour cream for the next month and a half and you’ll see. It’s a food that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone. There is a sour-cream shaped hole in my heart, and I can try to fill it with sour cream and onion flavored Pringles, but a part of me is always going to feel empty. Luckily my burrito bowl filled that deep spiritual need and I was able to move along with my life. For the time being, my heart is whole.

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Anyways, after about fifteen minutes of finding and eating said burrito bowl, I returned to the subway stop to catch an express train to the airport, where yet another glorious food-related surprise greeted me. I was wandering the airport halls when out of the corner of my well-trained eye I spotted a recognizable logo. It couldn’t be—could it? But yes, it was! A Popeye’s Chicken and Biscuits, right in the Hong Kong airport!

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I vowed to eat there every time I was in that airport for life. Except for today. I was still full from that wonderful burrito bowl. The verdict: the best part of Hong Kong so far is food, hands down.

I hopped on the plane and spent the next two hours being gaped at by a middle-aged Chinese couple. The woman kept feeding me snacks, which I think means she wanted to keep me as a pet. Lots of Chinese people have had that reaction to me. It honestly doesn’t even phase me anymore.

But I disembarked in Chengdu to an unpleasant surprise…

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